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A MONTESSORI EDUCATION

RESOURCES


There is an abundance of information about the Montessori approach to educating children. Here are some we recommend:

  • The American Montessori Society’s Introduction to Montessori provides an excellent explanation of the Montessori approach to education and its benefits.
  • The American Montessori Society Family Support Materials webpage lists a number of excellent articles, books, and videos.
  • Author Peter Sims’ article The Montessori Mafia in the Wall Street Journal is thoughtful and provocative.
  • Where the Children Work for Themselves is an insightful blog entry from The Center for Guided Montessori Studies, which provides training and certification for Montessori teachers.
There have been well over 1,000 books written about various aspects of Montessori. Browsing an online bookseller will reveal the array of topics, including Maria Montessori’s own innovative thinking, the emphasis on peace and peaceful children, the absorbent mind, Montessori activities to do at home, research on Montessori pedagogy, compassionate teaching, and much more. We encourage you to explore those topics that most interest or resonate with you




SUGGESTED READING


  • The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
  • Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education by Trevor Eissler
  • Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard




MYTHS & FACTS


If you’re new to Montessori – or even if you’re not – you may have heard a variety of opinions. There are some persistent myths about Montessori, some of them contradictory. Here are a few of the most prevalent: MYTH In Montessori schools, students just do whatever they feel like doing. It’s chaotic. FACT In Montessori schools, students learn to become self-directed. But they do so precisely because there is a very thoughtful classroom structure. On any given day, teachers present lessons, students work together and help one another, and students focus individually on their own work. The teacher sets developmentally appropriate goals and specific tasks for each child and then monitors their progress. MYTH Montessori schools are too structured. FACT Oddly, both this myth and its opposite (above) exist. As described above, Montessori has a structure that promotes independent learning, creativity, and self-discipline, as opposed to rigidity, rote learning, and teaching for the test. MYTH Montessori is a religious doctrine. Sometimes it is assumed to be affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. FACT Montessori has no religious affiliation whatsoever. Like most other Montessori schools, at CVMS we deliberately create a culture of kindness and respect toward others, cultivate responsibility for the natural world, and promote understanding of the wider world with a focus on peace. MYTH Montessori focuses on creativity, but not on math, science, and technology. FACT The Montessori mathematics curriculum, which employs systems of materials that students manipulate, is exceptionally strong. Students develop a genuine understanding of mathematical concepts at each level. Likewise, the Montessori approach to science develops curiosity along with understanding of the scientific method and processes. At CVMS, students begin using technology at the Early Childhood level and develop increasing sophistication with every ensuing year. We provide students with a strong core of knowledge in math, science, and technology along with the ability to analyze information and solve problems alone and collaboratively. MYTH Montessori is elitist. FACT Quite the opposite. While CVMS does focus on excellence in all aspects of learning and development, we have a strong culture that embraces racial, cultural, and economic diversity and actively promotes respect and kindness toward all.




MONTESSORIANS YOU MAY KNOW


Nationally and internationally, the list of famous individuals who have benefitted from a Montessori education is very long. Several websites provide information about some of them: WWW.MARIAMONTESSORI.COM | AFTER MONTESSORI – MONTESSORI ANSWERS HERE ARE JUST A FEW NAMES YOU MAY RECOGNIZE:

  • Joshua Bell, American superstar violinist
  • Jeff Bezos, financial analyst, founder of Amazon.com
  • T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., noted pediatrician and author
  • Sergey Brin & Larry Page, co-founders of Google.com
  • Julia Child, famous chef, star of many TV cooking shows and author of numerous cookbooks
  • George Clooney, Academy Award-winning actor
  • Kami Cotler, actress (youngest child on long-running series The Waltons)
  • Peter Drucker, management consultant, author, professor
  • Anne Frank, famous diarist from World War II
  • Melissa and Sarah Gilbert, actors
  • Katharine Graham, owner-editor of the Washington Post
  • Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian painter and architect
  • Helen Hunt, Academy Award-winning actress
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize winner for Literature
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, first lady (John F. Kennedy) and editor
  • Lea Salonga, Filipino-American singer and Broadway actress
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
  • Prince William and Prince Harry Windsor, English royal family
  • Will Wright, designer of The Sims
IN ADDITION, HERE ARE SOME OF THE FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO CHOSE MONTESSORI SCHOOLS FOR THEIR OWN CHILDREN:
  • Patty Duke Austin, actress
  • Cher Bono, singer and actress
  • Elizabeth Berridge, actress
  • David Blaine, street magician
  • John Bradshaw, psychologist and author
  • Yul Brynner, actor
  • Stephen J. Cannell, TV writer-producer-director (The Rockford Files and many others)
  • Marcy Carcy, TV producer
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton, former U.S. president/Senator and Secretary of State
  • Michael Douglas, actor
  • Shari Lewis, puppeteer
  • Yo Yo Ma, world-famous cellist
  • Willie Nelson, musician, has a Montessori school on his ranch




THE BASICS


Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Montessori education is based on these principles, as set forth by the American Montessori Society:

  • The aim of Montessori education is to foster competent, responsible, adaptive citizens who are lifelong learners and problem solvers.
  • The individual is considered as a whole. The physical, emotional, social, aesthetic, spiritual, and cognitive needs and interests are inseparable and equally important.
  • Respect and caring attitudes for oneself, others, the environment, and all life are necessary.
  • Learning occurs in an inquiring, cooperative, nurturing atmosphere. Students increase their own knowledge through self- and teacher-initiated experiences.
In Montessori schools, students are grouped in small, multi-age classrooms in which trained teachers foster their learning and growth as they are developmentally ready.





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